Camping Around the AFC South

The Jacksonville Jaguars training camp is underway and the team has a renewed interest and excitement. But what is going on with the Jags AFC South Rivals? JagNation brings you this report from around the division.

Tennessee Titans - Charlie Bernstein on the scene

The Tennessee Titans may be the most underpublicized 13-win team in recent history. Few in the national media have given the Titans much of a chance of repeating as AFC South division champions, due to the loss of defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth in the offseason. Through the first week of Titans camp, Haynesworth doesn't seem to be missed as Tony Brown, Jovan Haye, and Jason Jones look dominant and should make the transition mostly seamless.

One look at the Titans and the word physicality immediately comes to mind, as Jeff Fisher's team certainly looks as tough as ever. The Titans offensive line is as devastating as ever, and Chris Johnson looks like the second coming of LaDainian Tomlinson, as the first man almost never brings him down. Say what you want about LenDale White's diet, but he looks as if he's in great shape entering 2009. Add in some legitimate weapons in Nate Washington and Jared Cook to go along with the gritty Justin Gage, and quarterback Kerry Collins should be able to move the chains through the air when necessary.


Houston Texans- Charlie Bernstein on the scene

Thus far, the Houston Texans training camp has been somewhat of a nightmare. The lead story of the opening weekend was the unhappiness of stars Dunta Robinson (missing in action), DeMeco Ryans, and Owen Daniels, all of which are requesting new contracts. Just a few days in to camp, high priced free agent acquisition Antonio Smith (who is happy with his contract) had a verbal altercation with Texans defensive assistant Bill Kollar. Just when the team thought things couldn't get much worse, both starting center Chris Myers and cornerback Jacques Reeves went down with injuries and are expected to miss significant time.

All of the attitude and injury issues have overshadowed a somewhat productive start of camp for the league's third-ranked offense, which is returning all of their key cogs. On top of that, defensive rookies Brian Cushing and Connor Barwin have been impressive, and the Texans defense figures to be improved from the unit that routinely gave up big plays a year ago.


Indianapolis Colts - Eric Hartz on the scene

Most people showed up at Colts' camp this week wanting to see how things have changed now that Marvin Harrison is gone and Jim Caldwell has taken over for Tony Dungy. Most people found out that things are pretty much status quo for Indianapolis: Peyton Manning is throwing darts to Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are ready to get after the passer and Bob Sanders is watching from the sidelines.

With the exception of the injured Sanders, along with starting corner Marlin Jackson and kicker Adam Vinatieri — all of whom are expected to be back in time for the regular season — the Colts look primed for another run to the AFC playoffs. New defensive coordinator Larry Coyer has been adding some wrinkles to the defense, moving Freeney, Mathis and Raheem Brock around and even having them attack from two-point stances at times. He's also involved outside linebackers Clint Session and Philip Wheeler into some blitz schemes.

Some of the key training camp battles are for a third wide receiver spot, where rookie Austin Collie has been seeing time in the slot but Pierre Garcon, Roy Hall and Taj Smith are all showing potential, and at defensive tackle, where a battle royale for starting positions is going on. Among the candidates are Daniel Muir, Eric Foster, Ed Johnson and rookies Fili Moala, Terrance Taylor and Adrian Grady.

First-round choice RB Donald Brown looks solid and will push incumbent starter Joseph Addai for touches, and second-year back Mike Hart has also looked promising.


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